Police have named the man who died overnight following an assault in Hawke's Bay over the weekend.

He was 45-year-old Mark Geoffrey Beale of Haumoana.

Detective Inspector Mike Foster said Mr Beale was found unconscious on Haumoana beach yesterday morning.

Police believe the 45-year-old man was assaulted before being found unconscious and have now launched a homicide investigation.


Mr Beale died from his injuries in Hawke's Bay Hospital.

A scene examination in the area of Domain Rd has been carried out, and police would like to hear from anyone in the area of this Rd and Grange Rd on the afternoon or evening of Sunday 5th of February.

The area where Mr Beale was found is popular with people fishing, dog walking and other recreational activities.

Police would like to hear from people who were in the area on Sunday to help eliminate them from their inquiries, and urge all people who fish or frequent this area on a regular basis to make contact with us.

Earlier it was reported a nearby resident was alerted to the scene about 6.30am when she heard chatter and a radio from the fire engine.

"I looked outside and there was an ambulance, a fire truck and a police car. I had no idea what was going on and thought I had missed something."

A group of fruit pickers had gone down to the beach with a dinghy the previous night and she was concerned they'd had an accident.

But moments later a swarm of police arrived outside her home and a middle-aged man was carried on a stretcher and put into the back of the ambulance.

"He didn't look too good."

She was shocked by what she said was the first serious assault in the area as she didn't expect events like this to occur.

"We have had a few cars go in to the drain and a bit of drama but nothing like this. It is pretty sad really. "

The van the fruit pickers were in was still there yesterday morning.

A spokesman for the fruit pickers said they were not involved in the incident.

"The group had gone down for a night fish and were not a part of the team that found the man."

"They were told that morning that three Maori men were involved in some sort of dispute," the spokesman said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hastings police on (06) 873 0500, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.